I haven’t had too much to write home about lately. Mary and Eric and their two kids are here as I said before. Because they are here there has been a constant flow of people in Mama and Papa’s house. Not necessarily a bad thing. Mary and Eric are good people and I enjoy talking to them. The only unfortunate thing in the whole deal is that for some reason we eat dinner at like 9pm now. Not really sure why. Mary and Eric got Mama a microwave, which doubles as an oven. Makes things much easier. Their three-year old daughter is frequently watching Pixar’s Cars or Dora the Explorer. My Kenyan experience will be temporarily minimized while they are here, but it is very ok. However, I did have a bit of goat intestine yesterday. I must say, it was not good. Texture, not good. Taste, not good. I also had a taste of fermented milk. I guess it is just boiled, spoiled milk. I must say, it was not good.
The last few nights we on the TV has been preachers, mostly Kenyan. I can only take so much yelling in preaching. It gets kinda old after a while. I don’t know why they just can’t talk. Their blood pressure may go down if they do so. Also, there was a guy on who was “slaying people in the spirit.” He called himself a prophet and used some verses in Isaiah to support it, which is ridiculous. All the guy was really doing was making some “wooshing” noises in the microphone, saying “Jesus,” and pushing people in the head making them fall over. I am pretty certain this is not Biblical. I have yet to read anywhere in the Bible that this happens. I have however seen hypnotists do this. So, just so some of you know, this is not what Christianity is about.
Christmas Eve baby! Picked Philip up from the airport yesterday. Glad to see him. He came at a very good time. I’m feeling tired and unmotivated the last several days. Don’t really know why. I know I am tired from not sleeping as much as I would like and doing a lot of traveling. It seems like everything is getting to me. Somebody asks me for money or I see somebody just sitting there not doing anything, I want to tell them to stop being lazy and get a job. Or the way people drive here. Things like that. I am kinda feeling like if I had to go home right now, I wouldn’t mind. Philip is here now, so hopefully that feeling will go away with some sleep and hang out time with the bro. I don’t even really feel like writing this. I just don’t have anything else to do.
Picking Philip up yesterday was quite a trip. It takes about two hours to get to the airport. It took a bit more time than that. Traffic in Nairobi is horrible. Drivers are not good. And the city planning for the traffic was designed by what seems to be a child. We took Sammy, a guy who works at the curio shop where the town office is, and his young daughter. They happened to be going to Nairobi as well. On the way there she puked. Poor girl. So that caused the van to not smell so good, but it wasn’t too bad with the windows down. We got to the airport early and waited. Airports are interesting places. There is such a wide range of people there. There were some Asian people, white tourists, Kenyans coming home to their families, Masai people with huge holes in their ears and beaded necklaces hanging around their necks. There’s a wide range of emotions too. Excitement to see family, anxiousness in trying to find the company picking them up, sadness in seeing their loved ones leave. The weather was good getting Philip, and as we headed into the city a dark gloom was over the buildings. As we entered Nairobi, it began to rain heavily. Within minutes rivers of water were beginning to form and winds were blowing hard. Bad driving coupled with the weather made things worse. It took us at least an hour or two to get through the few miles of streets. Big billboards, poles, and branches were knocked over. We finally got home five hours later. A couple people today told me that a few people died from the storm. Bad.
Showed Philip around the school a bit today and introduced him to some people, and now he is drawing and I’m typing.
Today is Christmas day my friends! I’m about to go to sleep, and most people I know are just getting their festivities going at home. I hope everybody had a good day and remembers the reason we celebrate this day. Americans get so caught up in the commercialization of it all. Here in Kenya, you would barely even tell it was Christmas. Going to church this morning there were more people dressed up than usual. Most of the stores were closed, not many people were out. There were the usual fruit stands and many of the street shops open. After church we went to Daniel’s house. He is the son of Mama and Papa. Had goat, rice, chapati, fruit, among other things. We sang songs, told stories, did silly dancing, exchanged gifts, talked, and prayed. It was a good afternoon. I was feeling kinda junky emotionally for the last week or so, but this family understands the meaning of life. And it was good and encouraging to see and be a part of that. I admit that I like decorating the Christmas tree, seeing Christmas lights on houses, and that stuff (not overly so), but seeing this family who don’t have or do any of those things, but have the true Christmas spirit is great. They love God so much that it shows in, from what I’ve seen, everything they do. My family at home is awesome and love God just as much as these people do, but things are done differently. I think my family could learn from this family and vice versa. I hope I can bring some of it home with me.
There are some people who read this, I think, who have different theological beliefs than me. And that’s ok and doesn’t change what I think of you or anything like that and hope it never does. And chances are I like you and you like me otherwise you wouldn’t waste your time reading all this stuff. I just want you to know that I am the way I am and do the things I do because of what God has done in me. I’m not a really amazing person, maybe a little bit ; ), but not much. So that is all I want to say for now. I love you all. Hope you had a very good Christmas and I hope to hear fro you soon.
I have a mean farmer’s tan.
Philip and I made slings today. Like the David and Goliath sling. They are so cool. We messed around with them for a bit today. Gonna take some practice to get the hang of it.
Philip made his first trip to town on a bota bota and matatu today. Pretty uneventful. The town is calm today. I guess everybody is staying home.
Just got back from town. We dropped our stuff off at the town office and went to a cyber café cuz Guava Café was closed. We got on the internet and shortly after that got off. The internet wasn’t working so well. We went to the street market where they sell all the cool art stuff and all the vendor people I know are. Started talking to one guy and then a bunch of them were around and we were all talking. Then one of them named Francis, nicknamed Ebony after the black wood (funny), said something and we ended up talking about God. It was a good conversation that ended up with a few other guys involved and under the eaves across the street when the rain started coming down hard. They are cool guys. Philip had a good time and we left them with some money for food. We ended up spending about four hours in town talking to them and eating at Rift Fries. We had good burgers and moquimo. The rain stopped after about an hour. We hopped a matatu and headed back. For the two of us it costs 40 shillings (about 55 cents). I gave the conductor guy (he’s maybe in his mid to lower 20s) 50 shillings. I said to Philip, “I wonder is he’s gonna give me change.” We arrived at our destination and I got no change. I know it’s only 10 shillings, and I care less about that much money, but it’s the principle of him trying to cheat me and get away with it. So I told him when I got out that I wanted my change, wondering what he was going to say. He said that it costs 50 shillings. I said, “No it doesn’t, 20 shillings each. I asked the driver who wasn’t paying attention to the conversation and he said it is 20 shillings. And then a few seconds later he said it is 25 each. I said on the way and all the previous times it has been 20 each. He then said it was changed last week. I said, “Right. Keep the money. God bless and merry Christmas,” and left. Ridiculous stuff. Anyways it has been a good day.
Went to George’s church this morning. He is Mama and Papa’s son-in-law. We had to get up and say a little something. The service lasted 3 hours. Fortunately Eric spoke, so the message was good, there was no yelling involved, and I learned some stuff. Not that I wouldn’t the usual Kenyan style (shouting…), but this is more my way of learning about God. Then we came home and worked the slings a bit and relaxed. We finished the day by having dinner at Mama and Papa’s daughter’s house. I’m tired. I’m looking forward to being productive and having something to do this week. I will do what I can to make it happen.
Philip and I finally started what I’ve been wanting to do the whole time. We took the video from the dump and started editing it. We don’t have much done yet but it’s good so far, at least I think so.
On Christmas Eve somebody stole the communication/telephone line between the high school and primary school, which is about 150 yards apart on separate properties. Lame!
A few days ago I was typing up a bunch of hymns and Philip was sitting next to me typing some bios of incoming first graders to Rohi. Here I was typing about how good God was and all the other stuff that is written in hymns, and here Philip is typing things like, “status: orphan, age: 7, dad died of tuberculosis, mother ran away, HIV positive.” Think about that.
Went to the dump. Philip got to see all the stuff and took a bunch of pictures. We took a tuktuk (3-wheeled vehicle) on the way there. We handed out candy and got some more footage for the video we are doing. We then went next to the stadium where there were some street guys hanging out at their base. We talked to them and proceeded to Guava Café. On the way back we saw some guy being pulled somewhere. His face was all bloody and didn’t look so good. Kamotho said he probably tried to steal a botabota. Things are going well.